Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Jeff City Braunschweiger Report #1

I guess it’s the German heritage of Jefferson City that has made braunschweiger’s popularity endure around here, even though this sausage has lost its luster among big-city cognoscenti. Yeah . . . it’s made out of liver, a “scary” organ meat, a filter for all the toxins and other bad stuff that the critter was ever exposed to. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know all that. Smoked liverwurst. “Brunswick sausage.” Pork liver and “trimmings.”

. . . But it’s delicious! And think twice before you go dissin’ on someone’s ethnic food. Like all good things that maybe aren’t the most healthy, it’s still almost certainly okay to eat occasionally, in moderation.

When I moved to Jeff City, I was surprised to see so many restaurants (especially the lunch places) offering braunschweiger sandwiches on their menus. I thought braunschweiger was passé, abandoned (like “baloney”) with the rest of my childhood foods from the sixties and seventies.

These days, braunschweiger is just not cool.

. . . Except in Jefferson City! In large part, it’s the German heritage that keeps it popular.

So today, I present the first in what will be an informal series of “reviews” of Jefferson City’s braunschweiger offerings (oh, hell, I might as well include other organ meats, as well, since there are also plenty of places to get brain sandwiches around here).

Why? Because it’s fun to explore. And someone needs to interpret this weird Jeff City culture to the outside world, eh?

First on my list is the braunschweiger offered by the Old Brick House Deli, which I just introduced you to the other day.

They use Boar’s Head meats, so it’s pretty good stuff. And they’re quite generous with it.

But best of all, you can choose what to put on it, and what kind of bread it’s on. Cheese is included, too (if you want it): cheddar, American, Swiss, provel, pepper jack, gouda, or bleu cheese crumbles. (Oughh! But you probably don’t want cheese on braunschweiger—do you?)

They recommend a little honey mustard with the braunschweiger, but I prefer it with just a (light!) amount of mayo. They also recommend their “French baguette” (which is softer than you’re expecting), rye, or sourdough (another choice being wheat) . . . but I like to be perverse and order it as a tortilla wrap . . . or on a croissant.

Ha ha ha: Braunschweiger on a croissant! Isn’t that like Velveeta on a bagel, or porksteak on a pita? Hah! Or . . . brie with saltines! . . . Hamburger vindaloo!

. . . Anyway, as you probably know, braunschweiger is soft and creamy, so a sandwich with it needs some lettuce and whatever other vegetables you can scrounge up for freshness and texture. At the Brick House, you can get lettuce, tomato, and onion. And yes, do get all three.

The cost for a whole braunschweiger sandwich is $5.75, and it comes with their specially seasoned “Brick House chips.” You can pay a little extra and get a side salad or cup of soup. Other sides include potato salad, dill pasta, mostaccioli, and slaw.

The verdict: This is a great place to get your braunschweiger fix, because you can order it just the way you want it (yes, even to the point of perversity). They’re generous; the food’s fresh; and (as mentioned before) the dining experience is overall quite pleasant. (Welcome to Jefferson City!)


BonnieChasteen said...

I like braunschweiger, but the thought of it on an icky croissant just makes me shudder. Anyway, glad I can get my liver sausage however I like it at Brick House. Thanks for posting : )

Dunraven said...

I don't think my children would have survived without it--the perfect baby food, full of iron, soft to gum, tasty on toast. They crave it!